Author's Checklist

Intellectus is the first official student-led peer-reviewed scientific publication affiliated with A.T. Still University, School of Osteopathic Medicine Arizona (ATSU-SOMA). The mission of the journal is to serve as an accessible platform for the dissemination of scientific literature researched and written by students of ATSU-SOMA. 

Intellectus accepts the following article types for peer review:

  • Original Article
  • Review Article (Literature review)
  • Brief Report
  • Case Report

Intellectus gives priority to original research, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses. Authors may select from the following topic/domain categories when submitting an article to the Intellectus:

  • Public Health
    • Community outreach
    • Social determinants of health
    • Quality improvement and leadership development
  • Medical education
    • Academic medicine
  • Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT)
    • Pain management
  • Clinical topics
    • Clinical specialties (Pediatrics, OBGYN, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, etc)
    • Addiction medicine
    • Forensics medicine
    • Clinical based research


Submission and Peer Review Process

To submit a manuscript, click on Submit Article 

You may upload manuscripts and accompanying materials to this site, and you will receive all correspondence regarding submissions through the site and email. You may use this site to check the status of your manuscript at any time.

Failure to follow these Instructions for Authors and include all required components will result in your manuscript being returned to you before peer review. Intellectus will only consider the manuscript after all items are formatted properly.

First decisions are returned within 30 days of submission. If you feel your publication warrants rapid review, please email us at somaprefac@atsu.edu.

Intellectus employs a double-blind peer review process. If your manuscript contains identifying information that does not allow for double-blind peer review (eg, authors’ names, initials, or year), it will either be returned to you before peer review, or you will be asked to revise it before publication.

Submissions are assigned directly to a Section Editor familiar with your particular area of study, who may issue an immediate decision or decide to forward your manuscript for full peer review. During peer review, your work will be reviewed by faculty in a relevant specialty for final approval.

Authors who are considering submitting multiple manuscripts that will convey the progression of a study or that are part of a series of articles intended to be published at the same time are strongly encouraged to contact Intellectus staff before submitting such articles.

Submission timeline:

  • Submission will be open [] day
  • Students have [30] days to submit
  • First decisions are returned within 30 days of submission
    • Includes Y/N with edits
  • Final submission
  • *Timeline can be subjected to change and authors/reviewers will be notified for such.

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Article Types

Manuscripts must be submitted in one of the following formats, regardless of domain/topic area. Submissions from students should also have a faculty mentor (senior) trainer as an author.

A few notes about each manuscript section (Methods, Results, etc) appear in the Manuscript Components section below.

Original Article


  • Abstract: Structured, 500 words or fewer 
  • Sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions
    • Word count: 2500 or fewer
  • References: 50 or fewer
  • Figures and Tables: 10 or fewer, with flow diagrams encouraged (required for Randomized Controlled Trials)
  • Please click here to access a detailed template for Original Articles written by Journal of Osteopathic Medicine for you to reference as a good guideline and expectation.

Manuscripts in this category document original clinical or applied research. Intellectus requires prospective clinical trial registration for every research study involving human subjects. Original research where any intervention (not limited to pharmaceutical interventions) was undertaken in human subjects that is submitted for consideration without clinical trial registry will be returned to the authors.

Original contributions include controlled trials, observational studies, diagnostic test studies, cost-effectiveness studies, and survey-based studies. The Intellectus will accept basic scientific research only if the work has clear clinical applications.

Intellectus will consider quality improvement studies that may be valuable to its readership; however, the authors of such studies must obtain a statement of exemption from the institutional review board at the author’s institution. Quality improvement studies without exemption status will not be considered.

If the manuscript includes OMT protocols, Intellectus encourages the inclusion of an accompanying video that demonstrates the OMT protocols. Intellectus will give priority to submissions with video accompaniment.

Review Article


  • Abstract: Structured, 500 words or fewer
  • Sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions
    • Word count: 2500 or fewer
  • References: 75 or fewer
  • Figures and Tables: Four or fewer, with flow diagrams encouraged
  • Please click here to access a detailed template for Review Articles written by Journal of Osteopathic Medicine for you to reference as a good guideline and expectation.


Manuscripts of this type are detailed, critical surveys of published research relevant to clinical problems. We accept systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and narrative reviews. Systematic reviews should have a clear objective, a description of the data-selection and exclusion process, and a discussion of the research implications.

Narrative reviews should include a clear objective, a description of the condition being reviewed, a summary of common problems in diagnosis and treatment, and a discussion of new theories in the medical literature for improving patient care.

All submissions in this category should introduce the problem or clinical question, discussing what is already known and the state of the current research on the question; assess the recent literature, pointing out limitations and highlighting areas that could benefit from further research in the field; and provide a definitive conclusion as to the meaning of the articles reviewed. 

Brief Report


  • Abstract: Structured, 500 words or fewer
  • Sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions
    • Word count: 2500 or fewer
  • References: 35 or fewer
  • Figures and Tables: Four or fewer
  • Please click here to access a detailed template for Brief Reports. 
  • Brief Reports are similar to Original Articles, but they detail research that is in earlier stages of development. Brief Reports will often have smaller patient/participant cohorts; they can focus on feasibility or pilot a specific treatment protocol. Brief Reports are not simply a shorter write-up of a large study that would warrant more detailed description. In other words, Brief Reports are defined by methods, not by length of manuscript.

Case Report


  • Abstract: Unstructured
  • Sections: Introduction, Case Description, Discussion, Conclusions
    • Word count: 1500 or fewer
  • References: 20 or fewer
  • Figures and Tables: Two or fewer
  • Please click here to access a detailed template for Case Reports written by Journal of Osteopathic Medicine for you to reference as a good guideline and expectation.

The Intellectus accepts Case Reports focusing only on those that represent truly novel or unusual contributions to the literature (something that does not follow classic presentation of diagnosis). Review will be conducted on a case-by-case basis. All Case Reports are evaluated first by our Editors based on uniqueness of subject matter, relevance to our readership, and previous publication of similar studies. Case Reports are not required to describe clinical presentations that have strong relevance to osteopathic medicine, but highly encouraged and will be given preference. Lastly, patient consent is optional. There are no legal issues as long as there are no patient identifiers present in the case report.

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Manuscript Components


Both structured and unstructured abstracts should accurately but succinctly summarize the entirety of your study, with no major elements missing. For manuscripts where a structured abstract is required, authors should include the following five sections: Context, Objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusion. Further, the abstract must include a full but brief information about all methodology including study design, data sources, sampling method including inclusion/exclusion criteria, outcomes and key measures, final sample size, and statistical analyses performed in the study.


Authors should briefly introduce the topic of their manuscript, including: (1) background describing the previous work that led to the research, (2) a description of the research question and domain of the inquiry (eg, therapy, diagnosis, quality), and (3) an outline for the goals of the study.


Please review this Decision Tree to determine if your research study meets the NIH’s definition of a clinical trial.

For a human or experimental animal investigation, the Methods section must identify the institutional review board that approved the project. It must also state the manner in which informed consent was obtained from human subjects.

Authors must also clearly describe the basic study design, list measurement instruments and other tools used for independent and dependent variables, and clearly identify any modified or novel interventions that did not comply with approved or standard use.

In addition, authors must define the masking or blinding protocol and any statistical methods used, providing the full name of each method at first mention (eg, “Pearson product moment correlation coefficient” rather than “Pearson correlation coefficient”).

As a general guideline, the methods should be written with enough detail that another researcher could replicate the study.

If your manuscript reports partial data from a single phase of a larger trial, you must state that in your Methods.


Authors must report all outcome data and other results as they relate to the study’s objectives and to the manuscript’s Methods section. No data should be reported in the Results that was not introduced in the Methods. Likewise, no new data should be presented later in the Discussion that was not outlined in the Methods and Results. The statistical methods used to analyze data should be accurate and appropriate for the research question.


Authors should place their findings in the context of relevant literature, describe any limitations of the study, and make recommendations for future research. The discussion should also comment on the study’s importance in relation to the tenets of osteopathic medicine.


Authors should succinctly summarize the study’s major findings as they relate to the study’s purpose and the clinical applications of those findings, if appropriate. Conclusions should be limited to one paragraph.


Authors should limit acknowledgments to people who substantially contributed to either the study or the preparation of the manuscript. Acknowledgments should list contributors’ full names; highest earned academic degrees, including all doctoral and master degrees; and professional titles at academic and other institutions. Acknowledgments of osteopathic medical students should include their OMS designation.

Figures and Tables

Tables should consist of three or more interrelated columns and rows and should present only information that is relevant and of interest. Primary comparisons should be presented horizontally, left to right. Tables should be able to stand on their own, without reference to the text; thus, table titles must provide the context to help readers interpret the data presented. Tables should be submitted as editable Word files; do not insert an image of a Table into a Word document.

Nonstatistical figures are visual representations of information that do not include data, such as clinical images, illustrations, and diagrams. All images must be submitted as separate high-resolution JPEG or TIF files. The minimum resolution that Intellectus can accept is 8 inches width at 72 dpi. All patient information must be removed from or blocked out of graphic elements. Radiologic images in particular should be checked for patient information before being submitted to the Intellectus.

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Formatting Requirements

  • Please leave in the article title and abstract
  • Do not include page numbers, headers, or footers. These will be added by the editors.
  • Write your article in English (unless the journal expressly permits non-English submissions).
  • Submit your manuscript, including tables, figures, appendices, etc., as a single file (Word, RTF, or PDF files are accepted).
  • Page size should be 8.5 x 11-inches.
  • All margins (left, right, top and bottom) should be 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), including your tables and figures.
  • Single space your text.
  • Use a single column layout with both left and right margins justified.
  • Font:
    1. Main Body—12 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available
    2. Footnotes—10 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available
  • If figures are included, use high-resolution figures, preferably encoded as encapsulated PostScript (eps).
  • Copyedit your manuscript.
  • When possible, there should be no pages where more than a quarter of the page is empty.

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Additional Recommendations

Indenting, Line Spacing, and Justification

Indent all paragraphs except those following a section heading. An indent should be at least 2 em-spaces.

Do not insert extra space between paragraphs of text with the exception of long quotations, theorems, propositions, special remarks, etc. These should be set off from the surrounding text by additional space above and below.

Do not "widow" or "orphan" text (i.e., ending a page with the first line of a paragraph or beginning a page with the last line of a paragraph).

All text should be left-justified (i.e., flush with the left margin—except where indented). Where possible, it should also be right-justified (i.e., flush with the right margin). "Where possible" refers to the quality of the justification. For example, LaTeX and TeX do an excellent job of justifying text. Word does a reasonable job. But some word processors do a lousy job (e.g., they achieve right justification by inserting too much white space within and between words). We prefer flush right margins. However, it is better to have jagged right margins than to have flush right margins with awkward intra- and inter-word spacing. Make your decision on whichever looks best.

Language & Grammar

All submissions must be in English. Except for common foreign words and phrases, the use of foreign words and phrases should be avoided.

Authors should use proper, standard English grammar. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White (now in its fourth edition) is the "standard" guide, but other excellent guides (e.g., The Chicago Manual of Style, University of Chicago Press) exist as well.

Article Length

Please refer to the Article Types section on word count restriction for each article type.

Colored text

Set the font color to black for the majority of the text. We encourage authors to take advantage of the ability to use color in the production of figures, maps, etc., however, you need to appreciate that this will cause some of your readers problems when they print the document on a black & white printer. For this reason, you are advised to avoid the use of colors in situations where their translation to black and white would render the material illegible or incomprehensible.

Please ensure that there are no colored mark-ups or comments in the final version, unless they are meant to be part of the final text. (You may need to "accept all changes" in track changes or set your document to "normal" in final markup.)

Emphasized text

Whenever possible use italics to indicate text you wish to emphasize rather than underlining it. The use of color to emphasize text is discouraged.

Font faces

Except, possibly, where special symbols are needed, use Times or the closest comparable font available. If you desire a second font, for instance for headings, use a sans serif font (e.g., Arial or Computer Modern Sans Serif).

Font size

The main body of text should be set in 12pt. Avoid the use of fonts smaller than 6pt.

Foreign terms

Whenever possible, foreign terms should be set in italics rather than underlined.


Headings (e.g., start of sections) should be distinguished from the main body text by their fonts or by using small caps. Use the same font face for all headings and indicate the hierarchy by reducing the font size. There should be space above and below headings.

Main text

The font for the main body of text must be black and, if at all possible, in Times or closest comparable font available.


Whenever possible, titles of books, movies, etc., should be set in italics rather than underlined.


Footnotes should appear at the bottom of the page on which they are referenced rather than at the end of the paper. Footnotes should be in 10 pt. Times New Roman or closest comparable font available. They should be also single spaced, and there should be a footnote separator rule (line). Footnote numbers or symbols in the text must follow, rather than precede, punctuation. Excessively long footnotes are probably better handled in an appendix. All footnotes should be left and right-justified (i.e., flush with the right margin), unless this creates awkward spacing.

Tables and Figures

To the extent possible, tables and figures should appear in the document near where they are referenced in the text. Large tables or figures should be put on pages by themselves. Avoid the use of overly small fonts in tables. In no case should tables or figures be in a separate document or file. All tables and figures must fit within 1.5" margins on all sides (top, bottom, left and right) in both portrait and landscape view.


Roman letters used in mathematical expressions as variables should be italicized. Roman letters used as part of multi-letter function names should not be italicized. Whenever possible, subscripts and superscripts should be a smaller font size than the main text.

Short mathematical expressions should be typed inline. Longer expressions should appear as display math. Also expressions using many different levels (e.g., such as the fractions) should be set as display math. Important definitions or concepts can also be set off as display math.

Equations should be numbered sequentially. Whether equation numbers are on the right or left is the choice of the author(s). However, you are expected to be consistent in this.

Symbols and notation in unusual fonts should be avoided. This will not only enhance the clarity of the manuscript, but it will also help ensure that it displays correctly on the reader's screen and prints correctly on her printer. When proofing your document under PDF pay particular attention to the rendering of the mathematics, especially symbols and notation drawn from other than standard fonts.

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It is the author's obligation to provide complete references with the necessary information. After the last sentence of your submission, please insert a line break—not a page break—and begin your references on the same page, if possible. References should appear right after the end of the document, beginning on the last page if possible. References should have margins that are both left and right- justified. You may choose not to right-justify the margin of one or more references if the spacing looks too awkward. Each reference should give the last names of all the authors, their first names or first initials, and, optionally, their middle initials. 


All references need to be in AMA style. Please refer to https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/ama_style/ for reference. 

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Publication Process


As a means of maintaining editorial and other quality standards, all accepted manuscripts are subject to editing and abridgment. Such editing takes place after manuscripts undergo peer review and author revision. During this editing process, the Intellectus’s staff editors revise all accepted manuscripts for clarity, organization, grammar, conformity to house style and format, and adherence to AOA-preferred terminology, nomenclature, and spelling. Staff editors also conduct basic fact checking, including verifying referenced statements. As a consequence, they may request copies of referenced materials that were not provided on submission. Failure to respond during this process may result in delayed publication.

Corresponding authors will receive edited manuscripts for review and comment before publication. Corresponding authors are responsible for verifying all statements in their articles, including confirming the accuracy of changes made by Intellectus’s staff editors.

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Promoting Your Work

The journal encourages authors to actively promote their articles, whether through press releases, social media, or other outlets. When actively promoting, authors are required to include Intellectus’s logo or recognize our journal as the publication.


This Author's Checklist has been adapted and modified from the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine.

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